Monday, November 18, 2019

Eat the Cake

I wrote this a few months ago but never finished it.  Today, with The Retired Man out all day and the seat by the computer empty, I decided it was time to write or complete a post.  I am staying current with you all on my tablet but my time at my very slow computer has been limited.  We, hopefully, will be getting a laptop soon, and I will be able to use it in another part of the house that has not be claimed as his retiring room.


I am winding down and I am doing OK.

My summer days are long past and I am in the later part of autumn.  It has its advantages (no more pimples) and I embrace them and accept (mostly) what I cannot change.   My leaves have been falling but root rot has not quite taken over yet.  I recalculate daily and make choices based on comfort.  I still look for joy and fun and laughter because without them, I would lose hope. During my adult life I have taken semi-good care of myself and am glad that those good habits, good genes, and luck have brought me to this age still standing vertical and with some active brain cells.  I no longer am a master at trivia, but the things that have always been important to me are still strong in my mind, although it takes longer to retrieve.

I am now, though, rethinking some of my good habits and wondering why I need to keep them up anymore. Time is going by so quickly and I shouldn’t be denying myself any pleasures. 

I often go out to lunch with my friends and we ladies, all in our 70's, discuss the calories we are consuming and choose the meals that have less. We then order one dessert and split it between us but always leave the last spoonful. We have done this for 40 years.  It made sense when we were young but now that our veins have turned blue and the laws of physics have taken over, it might be time to relax and maybe eat the whole thing.  I just might go crazy next time and order my own dessert.

Now that I have gotten to this new age of reason, my mantra will be, "Drink the wine, eat the cake and feel no guilt".  I might also get rid of that damn scale.

Since I originally wrote this post, I took my granddaughter to the city where we had lunch on a docked, tall sailing ship.  It was lovely and we had a great time.  She would not even consider sharing her dessert, so I ordered two.   She is only 16, but she is teaching me things.














Wednesday, August 14, 2019

It’s All About The Fat

Time is going by too fast, but I am doing OK


We lost our ice cream store last fall.  It has been part of the town for over 100 years and although there are other creameries around, none could compare to Nelson's. The texture was so smooth and rich, the flavors were divine, and it contained more than an average amount of fat. They had won many prizes for their quality but for some reason, the owners sold off the recipe and closed the store.  This week something wonderful happened.  They are back in business, and I think they are better than ever (probably even more fat). They have not returned to their former home but are selling it in gallon containers in a local grocery market and at a few small cafes where we can get it served in a cup or a variety of cones.  Summer might be waning but there is still much to look forward to and enjoy.  It’s about those little things that I love, the simple joys.

I wrote a post a few years ago about an August evening at this dairy store and I thought this would be a good time to do something I seldom do, a reboot from 2015.

No Phone Zone

On lovely evenings in the summer, with the sun still high in the sky and the air so pleasant, there is nothing nicer than visiting the local dairy bar. We had finished a long day in the gardens, cutting back bushes, removing debris and completing all the tasks that one must do to keep the area from looking like a jungle. I decided that we deserved a reward.  We got the car keys and headed off to our town's little piece of heaven.  There must have been about 40 gourmet flavors to choose from and all looked so good.  I felt like a 10 year old with big eyes while staring longingly through the glass partition hoping for inspiration to make the right choice.  It was my most difficult decision of the week.   As we sat outside on a picnic table devouring our luscious, frozen delicacies, we watched the steady stream of customers coming by with friends and family to also take advantage of the perfect August night. What I noticed was that this was a place where no one had their phones out.  Everybody was talking to each other face to face.  Children were laughing and playing rather than checking social media.  All it takes to really connect people is a cone of melting double dip ice cream.

I hope you are all enjoying a simple pleasure today.

Monday, July 1, 2019

The Livin’ is Finally Easy

It is a sum, sum, summertime, and I am doing OK.





Today is a day without clouds, wind, threat of damaging storms, tornadoes, hail, hurricanes, floods, power outages, falling trees, heat waves, and humidity.  I had almost forgotten what people do on a glorious day like this, but I intend to enjoy it all, even if I am just puttering around in my gardens. After all, that which is rare should be embraced and treasured.  You never know when another will come along.

I hope you are all having a beautiful day.

For Shady: Summertime, Summertime by the Jamies

It's time to head straight for them hills
It's time to live and have some thrills
Come along and have a ball
A regular free-for-all

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Time Marches On

Getting through some days can be as unpredictable as the weather, but I am doing OK.

I have a birthday in June and will be celebrating an age that I associate more with my mother than myself.  Society defines us all by numbers and that’s a bummer.  I like to think of myself as being in my mid 40’s and 5’6” tall.  I was never taller than 5’4”, but if I am going to fantasize, why not taller, thinner and younger than some of my children.

 A few weeks ago I went into Philadelphia to see my son who was participating in a ten mile race.  It was raining out but not hard enough to deter the runners or the crowds.

Andy had been training for months and did really well. I was a very proud momma when we saw him come down Broad Street at a the six mile mark. The smile on his face was wonderful to see.  His wife and I then took the subway to meet him at the finish line.  It was a madhouse at the station but we did get the first train and squished our bodies in like sardines in a can. There were no seats available so we had to hang onto the pole which has its challenges but I was fine with that. I have not traveled the subway in many years and I thought this short ride would be fun.  Three times I was offered a seat and people looked at me oddly because I refused.  I appreciated their kindness and consideration, but I am still lucky enough to be able to stand, walk, run, and even chew gum at the same time.  They saw an old lady; they didn’t see me.  The years have changed my body, my face, and yes, my stamina, but not who I am;  a very stubborn woman who is going out of this world fighting and with the conviction that I can still do it.  

I ain’t done yet, and neither is my son.  He is now training for a half marathon.  He’s got grit too.

Thank you for all your well wishes.  It has been a difficult few months and I have lost some very dear people in my life.  It was hard, but as I always say at the beginning of my blog, I am doing OK.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Gone for Awhile

I got some bad news today, but I will be OK

I only write a post once a month so most will not miss me, but I do comment on your posts often and try to keep the conversation going between those I have met and admired on Blogger.  Reading your blogs is a joy in my life.  Today was a difficult day and I need some time to get through this.  I will be back, but I need to go away for a little while.

Stay well.

Arleen

Monday, March 4, 2019

Where Oh Where Did I Put My Funny Bone

Today I am doing OK.



My sense of humor has been lost for awhile and there are some moments when I think I see signs of it, but if I try to get a hold of it, pop, it disappears. I have become Serious Arleen and am bordering on Debbie Downer.  It has been a hard few years living in a country where the pot seems to be boiling over; there is so much negative noise; and, well, it is always raining (at least, where I live).  I need to laugh more, tell funny stories, be silly, relax and chill out. Today, is a good beginning because I woke up this morning to blue skies and the beautiful sun shinning down on one of the loveliest snow scenes I have seen in years.  



Those of you who have read my blog before know that from January to March, I bitch and bitch and bitch about Mother Nature.  The darkness plays with my mind and it is all about getting thru it rather than celebrating the days. Driving  is always a problem and at this point in March, I hate the idea of more shoveling.   

This storm came in the evening, and although I did not see any wind, the power to my house went out.  There was no other choice than to get under the covers and go to sleep.  At 6 AM, I awoke to the blinding sun piercing through the curtains and bouncing off the newly laid snow.  It was so beautiful and I couldn't help but smile.  I looked out the front door and the snow plows had already done their work during the night and despite having seven inches of snow, the roads were clear.  The power company was also busy and the heat was back on.



I got on Facebook to read what my neighbors were saying about the roads and came across this:
If  you choose not to find joy in the snow, you will have less joy in your life, 
but the same amount of snow.

I liked that!  There is a lot of wisdom there.


The Retired Man shoveled the driveway with our handy, dandy Toro power shovel snow thrower and he had no complaints (another reason to smile). I will be starting my inside seeds this week, and I found a great recipe for some leftover meat for a nice dinner tonight.  All is well.

Then the mail came with some local tax bills, but I will open them another day.  Today is for joy and the beautiful things that surround me.  Who knows, my funny bone might show up also. It might be hiding among the dust bunnies under my bed.  I never look there.








Thursday, January 31, 2019

Warmth

Looking for my thermals, and I am doing OK.



There is some extremely cold air coming our way in the next few days and we are being told that it might go to where it has never gone before, temperature wise. To those in the Midwest who might look at us Pennsylvanians as wusses because they are suffering with -50 F and ours is only -6, I’d bow to you but I don’t want to freeze in that position.  You do have my sympathy though.


People will be coming over on Sunday to watch the Superbowl game and the warmth of friends will be all I need.  I so enjoy company and being around those I love.  Retirement can be lonely, especially after having an always busy life.  The winter always seems so long and the Big Game is a good excuse to have a party and forget about the cold outside.  


All those with a beating heart need companionship of some sort, even if they are not of the same species.  Warmth comes from inside and outside our bodies. We live longer, are happier, and our brain lasts longer.  Our four legged friends know this.




Caesar, the cat, doesn't know he is different than Champ and Brandy.
He loves them and appreciates that they keep him warm.  Friends do that.



He just needs to be in charge



Ellie and Finn are siblings and could not be more different looking and in temperament,
but family is family and they would be lost without each other.



A family of semi-feral cats who need each other (and us) to survive.
They are needy and I love to be needed. 


Then there is us, an old married couple.  It was really cold outside so I thought I would put my boa on.

Yes, it is real.  This was not on my bucket list, but it was fun.

Stay warm, cuddle up with a warm blanket, read a good book, or do a marathon of Netflix films. Better yet, call an old friend.   











Monday, December 17, 2018

From My Home To Yours

The halls are decked and the bells are jingling and I am doing OK.

Retirement gives you lots of free time, but when it comes to “have to do’s, I am a procrastinator.  There are still some things to be attended to before the holidays, like wrapping, cooking, cleaning, etc, etc., etc. and my California family will arrive on Friday.  I am now in full-speed-ahead mode, so I was up and out of the house early to deliver some gifts and then off to Costco to buy some items that come in large sizes and amounts.  I was in a great mood and taste tested all the foods that the lovely, white netted hair ladies were offering.  The best part of that store is grazing.  I tasted some Bruschetta that was yummy, and went over to the display to buy a jar. It was down on a lower shelf so it took some maneuvering, especially since I was in a tight space and had the giant cart.  As I got myself up, I saw someone behind me so I moved my cart in order for him to get by.  He rushed past me and I heard him say, “ Now she moves” in a very sarcastic manner.  First, I felt bad that I was holding him up, and then became angry and thought of some remarks I should have said to him.  My mood changed.  I checked out and then went straight to the cafeteria to get myself some frozen yogurt to cool down (a good excuse to eat a sweet).  The sugar worked and I forgave that grumpy old man and walked out of the store in the same good spirit that I had when I entered. As I approached my car I saw something hanging in my door handle.  My gloves, my favorite gloves, were tucked in tight. They must have dropped when I got out of the car and a passing stranger found them and secured them to the handle so they would not blow away.  It was an act of kindness that I truly appreciated.  Yes, there are a few Scrooge’s out there who will only care about themselves, but there are many, many more thoughtful people who go out of their way to make life better for others.   

So from my home to yours, May your holidays be filled with kindness and joy and may that spread to those you love and those that pass your way. Even in difficult times, we should appreciate all the blessings that surround us, big and small.


Friday, November 30, 2018

O Tannenbaum, or in my case, Oh, Tannenbaum




December is hours away, and I am doing OK

My children were kind enough to bring  up my old "forever" Christmas tree from the basement after a Thanksgiving dinner last week.  It is showing its age and some lights refuse to twinkle.  I can relate.  It is in its spot by the window and there it has stood naked for days while I try to ignore the whole darn thing.  Wednesday, I tackled it and brought up the first box of "stuff".  There are six more, but because of my lack of  ho, ho, ho this year, I  knew I could not handle any more.  I took out the first box in the box and carefully hung eleven ornaments.  My back started to hurt, so I needed to sit down and contemplate the whole matter and decided Thursday would be a better day for decorating.  Unfortunately, it had slipped my mind (happens often) that the next day I had to go to work and there would not be enough hours left to do a proper job.  Plan C would be to do it on the next rainy day which happens nearly everyday here. So I was committed and I got the freeking tree up.  I did it, it is done, and I would like to say, the spirit of Christmas is alive and well in my abode.  Well, kind of , sort of , maybe.  I'll just get that can of Sparkling Spruce air freshener spray and see if that works some magic.  That and a lovely glass of fine wine just might have me Fa la la-ing.




Daisy was not any help and hopefully she will enjoy the tree from afar, and not on one of the branches.


Monday, October 29, 2018

Ina, Ina, Ina

I plan on making soup on this blustery autumn day and I am doing OK.


Ina Garten, a patron saint of all good things to eat, is my idol.  Look at that happy face, with the beautiful cheekbones, and smiling eyes.  Then look down to that large bowl of something especially good that she has made.  Who couldn't love that woman!!

I used to be a decent cook (although my kids might question that statement) but now I am a forgetful cook.  I confess to missing  an ingredient or an instruction every now and then and having to scramble when I finally see my mistake. I have found that flour, seasoning and hot sauce can fix many things.  When that doesn't work, I forget about the whole thing and make reservations.

Ina, though, is perfect.  On her show, The Barefoot Contessa, there are no spills or splatters, and she never loses her cool or drops a piece of chicken on the floor.  She speaks in a tone of voice that assures you that you can do the same. Then there is Jeffrey, her husband, a very genteel man.  He strolls in the house with a smile, kisses his wife, says about five words and then disappears. You don’t get a more perfect spouse than that.   Ina will have a guest or two to entertain and they may be a celebritity or just a well-heeled neighbor who is going by the script and may be being paid with a lunch/dinner made by Ina.  The show ends with them all eating outside in her perfect garden on a perfect table as they converse in a perfect manner.  No loud laughing and burps are ever heard.

If  wishes came true and I could have but one, it would be to get an invitation for lunch at her lovely home in the Hamptons.  I would dress well (no yoga pants), make sure I use the right fork, and talk about the lovely things in the world.  When Jeffrey strolled by, I would compliment him on his tie, and then let him have his usual 30 second conversation with his wife.   He would drift off to wherever it is he goes, and then Ina would go into the kitchen and bring out the most scrumptious and beautiful dessert that I have ever seen.  She would place it in front of me, I would thank her, and then I would probably sneeze all over the creamy topping because I am allergic to Jeffrey’s cologne.  Nothing really is perfect, not even in my dreams.

Ina Garten's new book, Cook Like a Pro, is now available.  I have bought and used her book, Make it Ahead, with success.  It is perfect for me as my explosion in the kitchen is cleaned up before guests arrive and they never need to know about the chicken on the floor.

.



Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The Invasion

We went from sweating to sweaters in a day, and I am OK.

This summer we had a new visitor.  Isn't he/she beautiful?


It is a Spotted Lantern Fly.

Having first appeared in 2014 in some cargo from the East, this invasive, killing machine has taken over a large part of southeastern Pennsylvania trees and is now moving into other states.  Their favorite hang out is the Ailanthus Altissima, a weed tree which grows in abundance in woods and fields.  From there they spread out to grape vines, fruit, Willow, Maples, pines, and timber trees.  As they get more used to the environment, it is thought that it will harm other varieties.  My neighbor, down the road, had three apple trees that are now without leaves and fruit.  According to the PA Department of Agriculture, “Trees will develop weeping wounds.  These wounds will leave a grayish or black trail along the trunk and the ground beneath will become black with their secretions."  It is said that on average, each one of these pests will lay 100 eggs and these masses are all over the bark of many, many trees.  There is little that can be done about them as they have no natural predators.  We are told to scrape the eggs off, which is not an easy task, especially if you are short and leery of long ladders. Swatting these bugs is exhausting as there are too many to even make a dent in the population.  A systemic insecticide seems to work but we have a few acres of woods behind our property and it would be cost prohibitive to do all of them.  They pose a multi-billion dollar threat to our state's economy because of the damage they do to wine and hops (OH, NO) fruit, logging, landscaping and other industries.  A friend works at a small airport and these bugs have infested most of the trees on their 200 acres of property.  He showed a video of them crawling up one tree, and there were thousands. I am sparing you the video, as it is disgusting.  The fear that some of these pests will hitch a ride on a plane and spread this threat is very real.  Right now it is like the plague of the locusts, they are all over, and it is not pleasant to be outside.

This picture was taken over a month ago on one of my trees.  There are many more bugs on it now.  




My beautiful Willow was a victim of the SLF.  We thought it looked stressed as its leaves were spotted and turning yellow in June.  We planned on calling an arborist in, but did not get the chance.  We woke up one Sunday morning with the tree on our house.



When it came down, we saw the that it was covered with the nymphs and the egg masses were all over the bark.  My Retired Man and I worked rapidly to get the tree off the house, probably to the chagrin of our neighbors who I am sure were not happy to be woken up early on a Sunday morning with the buzzing of a saw.  We got a good deal of it cleaned up but were beyond happy to see that our landscape helper "just" happened to be passing our house and stopped by to see what he could do.   It took a few days but it eventually got all cleaned up.  There was no damage to the house as Willow is a soft wood, but there was some to my heart.  I loved that tree.

He left the stump and told us to call someone else to remove it. I decided to keep it and made what I call "Memorial to Willow".  I wrapped fairy lights around it because I always overdo.



The grass is beginning to grow back and so is something else.  It is just one branch, but you never know.


 I call it Hope.




.



Thursday, August 16, 2018

A Natural Woman

We lost a great lady today, but how lucky we are that she was here in our lifetime.  I am doing OK.


She went by two names, but everyone knew her as Aretha.  No one, and I mean, no one, could belt songs out like her.  Fame is fleeting,  but her talent was not.  Two, and probably three  generations knew and loved her and danced and sang along to her music from the soul.

I found out about her death from my Retired Man, who spends his time each day in front of the TV watching political shows.  It drives me CRAZY.  Around 10:30 AM, he called out to me  about an alert on the news. He said that the station he was watching had gathered together some talking heads to discuss the tweets or the always breaking story of the day, but the moderator interrupted them and said, “Excuse me, we have an important announcement, Aretha Franklin has died.”  From then on, politics stopped, and a person of talent and character was the subject.  I left for work at noon and they were still playing her music.  What an improvement on their daily schedule!  I drove to and from work and both ways the station I was listening to (public radio) was playing only Aretha.  At home, I turned on the World News and the top story was Aretha.  We went out for a quick dinner and came home and found out that the program schedule had changed and instead of some nonsense, there was a program honoring Aretha.

It is all about Aretha today, and so it should be.  She upstaged them all. And yes,  she made me feel, she made me feel.....

We lost a treasure.  Rest In Peace, dear lady, you always had our love and RESPECT.  You sang us through the good times and the bad and we are grateful.  We were privileged to know your Amazing Grace.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Wet

I need my high waders, but I am doing OK.

It has not been the summer that I expected, but then, what can anybody expect today with crazy weather patterns all over.   When it rained most of April, well, you know, April showers.  May brought more liquid sunshine than usual, but May is spring and we need it to help the flowers grow.  By June, I was getting water-logged but I was awed by the beautiful green terrain. By July, I was becoming pissed with so many events threatened by storms.  Then came August, our last hope.  It has poured or been predicted to pour almost every day.  Today, I awoke to what sounded like a monsoon.  Rain is coming down 2" to 6" an hour in the area.  Part of my yard looks like this. 



The weathercasters are saying this will continue all day, with threats of more tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, etc. etc.  Needless to say, we are breaking all records, and not ones we want.

Our western states are going through droughts and fires and it is all so terrible.  I am also hearing that the normally green UK is also having an unusual dry year and can use some showers. Hopefully, you are enjoying the sun and plants without mildew. 

I just returned from a wonderful trip to the Monterrey area of California.  They have no rain, but they do have fog, lots of fog, for half a day.  This keeps the area cool in the AM and usual afternoon temperatures in the 70s F. It was perfect, especially coming from the east where it has been sweltering, with high humidity, precipitation, and lots of bugs that bite.

My day, though, is planned.  I will worry.  The Retired Man had to go into the city today, and I am concerned about how he will get home.  My son and DIL took my grandson to Penn State (3 hours away) today to start his college years, and I will chew my fingernails until they get home.   

Oh my, the sun just came out!  I live in hope (and anxiety).

One hour later - black clouds are forming.

Time to eat a few cookies.  Sugar in my belly makes everything better.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Twists and Turns and then Splat

I took a break to deal with life. It used to be easier, but I am doing OK.

The road of life is full of twists and turns, a lot of bumps and quite a few roadblocks.  As we round corners we hope to be met by the bluebird of happiness, but sometimes it is a cackling crow.  I hate detours because I am directionally handicapped and always fear that I will lose my way, but somehow, miraculously, I find my way back home.  This is where I am safe, where I am loved and where my flowers grow.  Oh, there are hazards with steps and stairs, and more so recently, but I am familiar with the landscape, and I walk more carefully. The world seems to have become more harsh and more difficult to navigate and what I could have never imagined being acceptable is now tolerated and embraced. It is what it is, I say to myself, but I have tears for the children and what has been lost. I move forward, somewhat unsteady, with hope for today, some fear for tomorrows and with good memories of yesterdays.

I wrote that a month or so ago and decided not to publish.  However, I wanted you all to know that I really had not abandoned Blogger, but was just in a funky mood and not trusting my feelings.  I have, though, experienced some lovely times the past few months.  My family visited from the other side of the country.  That week brought me much happiness and it was a wonderful, busy time.  They moved away twenty years ago, and I still have an ache in my heart because of the distance between us.  Their visits mean the world to me. 

I went to a lantern festival in June with my sisters.  It was one of the most glorious sights I have ever seen and I got to share it with loved ones (and it was my birthday).  There were 13,000 people in attendance and approximately 12,997 lanterns went up in the air without much trouble.   Here, though, we were blessed by the kindness of strangers.  Perhaps, it was because they wanted to be helpful, or maybe they were afraid that we would burn down the field.  Our lanterns did eventually fly free, although, one was burning up as people ducked for cover as it passed up and down thru the crowd. 



Then I got my outside room.  It is smaller than I had hoped, but I love it and seven people and my large furniture fit nicely inside.   I have spent many hours out there, enjoying all the wonderful sounds of summer without the company of biting bugs and scorching sun.  Screens make me happy. I am still decorating it and redecorating it and moving things around.  I should get it right by the end of summer. The best part though, is having friends and family over to enjoy the beauty of a summer night with us. 



I have vacation plans this summer and I will be accompanied by one of my lovely granddaughters. What could be better than that! California, here we come! 

Thank you for stopping by. I am sorry that I have been missing for such a long time, and I will try to do better. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Simple Pleasures

The Magnolias are in bloom and I am doing OK.

It is the season of being busy, and although I may complain about an aching back, my mind is in a very good place. The sun is shining, the cherry, peach, and apple trees are magnificent and spring flowers are popping up all over.  The weather and my attitude has changed for the better.  There is so much work to be done and I think I am up to it, but, if not, there is a young man I have hired to help me when needed.  I did not want to do this as I have always prided myself on being self-sufficient (aka, Superwoman, without the cape, body and ability to fly), and giving into aging was not in my plan.  However, there are jobs that I just don't want to do anymore, like cutting down and pulling out bushes, cleaning out garden beds, and putting down ten yards of mulch. They just are not fun!  I will assist my helper with the mulch, but he will shovel and I will spread.  It is a control issue with me and besides, I am paying by the hour and I want to hurry him along.  I will still be designing my gardens, planting new flowers and tiding up after perennials because that is where I find my joy - in the dirt. 

With the warm weather, I want to be outside as much of the time as possible so the Retired Man and I  have decided to spend our children's inheritance on ourselves and will be having a new outdoor room built. I am so looking forward to this and am hoping for many lovely days and evenings kicking back with a cold beverage, watching somebody else work, and being thankful for the simple pleasures that life can bring in the summertime.

On another note, our family has expanded this last month.  We have two new granddogs thanks to my daughter and her family.  They are rescue pups and are my favorite breed, Heinz 57 (varieties).  It was a litter of 11 pups and it appears that there was more than one daddy involved. Two of them look like St. Bernards with corgi legs.  Others are tall, and some resemble Chow Chows. Hopefully, Momma won't do that again.  Finn is the tri-colored one and Ellie is the lovely redhead.  I can't stop smiling when I see them. 

Puppies = more simple pleasures.


 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Ahh, Spring!

We have been shoveling since 8AM, and the worst of the snowfall is yet to come.  I am still doing OK (at least for now).

#$@&%*!



&@#$%&! 






 !*%&$#!!!


And a few other choice words.

My old body hates snow!







Monday, February 26, 2018

Sometimes You Just Want to Scream.

Bitching and moaning, but I am doing OK.

Today, I had to make a doctor's appointment for a routine yearly test to be followed by a annual  physical.  Truly, I put these off as long as possible and unless blood is coming out of every oracle of my body, I don't want to be around anyone wearing a white coat and a stethoscope. Finally I decided that I had stalled too long and it was time, so I called the hospital to schedule a date. Then I waited, and waited, and waited for someone to answer while listening to drive-you-crazy music interrupted by a voice telling me how important I am.  At last (about five or so minutes), a young lady answered.  I told her what I wanted - stressing that it was not an emergency, just a routine test.  Fine, we understood each other.  Good start!  Before giving me an appointment they needed dates and numbers and more information than I thought necessary but, OK, I understand that they need to get paid.  When I told her that I had a Medicare card, that led to another long string of questions. I tried to not sound frustrated, but then my Retired Man came into the room and looked quizzically at my face. Apparently it might have been red and twisted at that point, and he was concerned I might be having a stroke. It was going on way too long so I finally sat down. I answered about 20 more questions that had nothing to do with the type of test I would be having, then she  asked me why I was using a Medicare card. Was it this, was it that,  and then finally, "is it because of age!!!!!!! What the heck!!!!!! For the vast majority of Medicare users, you have to be 65 and over.  One of the first questions she asked me was my date of birth. Perhaps she could not count past 50, so I took a deep breath and told her how very old I was.

Her next question to me, "Are you pregnant."


Monday, January 15, 2018

MLK

I have always believed in the value of faith, hope and charity and I am doing OK.




I passed this sign last year in Washington DC on my way to the Capital for the Women's March.  As we walked, we noticed that most of the houses had these signs attached to their gates.  The words of Martin Luther King were the inspirational words to guide us on or way.   

"I have decided to stick with love, hate is too great a burden to bear."

"The time is always right to do what is right."

"In the end, we will not remember the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends".

"Injustice anywhere is threat to justice everywhere".

MLK's speeches are part of the history of our lifetime but are, sadly, needed more today. They are words we read, but they should be the words we live.

Peace and justice begin with us.








Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Sentimental Journey.



It is time to Fa La La, and I am doing OK

The pages of my life seem to be turning very quickly. It seems like we just put that "stuff" from Christmas away, and then, pow, that season comes upon us again.  So, it is time to dig in, accept that another year has passed and get with the program.  So down to the basement I went, checked out the numerous boxes of decorations, and sat down on the floor and considered my options.  Why do I have all these containers? I gave so much away last year, and there is still too much.  Should I open them all?  If I don't see them, I won't feel the need to use them.  I decided to just look at the tree ornaments.  Many of the them are inscribed with dates.  Some have the names of people who have passed on and who once gifted me these.  Tears started to fall.  Yes, those from my mom will definitely go on the tree.  Then I came across a container labeled "special ornaments".  These are the ones that my children made or bought for me.  Who couldn't love a tin ashtray from a bowling ally of the late 70's. There was also the hanging lady, created by my oldest daughter and made out of pipe cleaners. They are smoke'n aren't they?  How times have changed.


There was one of a felt tree that was decorated with glue and buttons. The writing is faded and I could not make out the name of the artist, but it made me emotional anyway. I came across the paper 3D snowman that my baby daughter made at age 7.  That definitely must go on.


I have many beautiful and some expensive ornaments that I have collected over the years.  I do love their sparkle and am always so happy to display them.  They give me joy also so they go on and join these others that for some years were only displayed on the sides and back of the tree. 
 
 I also found a box full of Christmas cards that were sent to us on our first anniversary.  I read through each and every one.  People in those days tended to write notes and, again, I cried.  What a sentimental old lady I am but I will admit that am glad that I saved them.  50 years later I can still remember some of those people like it was yesterday. They will remain forever young in my mind.

Nothing much got done that day as I ended up opening all of the containers and deciding that maybe I will use everything.  Then I rethought it, considering that what goes up must come down and it is the coming down that I hate.   Half will be enough. 

While decorating, an ornament that my Mom gave me, fell and broke.  That hurt and I wanted to fix it but there are many things in life that can't be repaired and we have to move on and accept loss.   What is in my heart, will stay in my heart till its last beat.  The reminders of the past and the joys we had at this season of the year are part of me and I think my tree tells a lovely story. 



.

I wish you all a wonderful holiday, full of smiles and contentment.  We all celebrate these days differently but it is the same message of peace and love that we seek. It has been a difficult year for many of us and there might be some more hard days ahead.  Take this time to be grateful for what you have and try to find some time to give to others who aren't as fortunate.  It is through giving that we get the most joy.

Also, like my bottle holder frog,
Make Merry







Monday, October 30, 2017

Change Over

Autumn finally came, and except for weak knees,  I am doing OK.

Fall is usually lovely, but it only lasts for about a week or two, especially this year.  The trees started to change about five days ago, and today big winds came and blew them off.  Easy come, swiftly gone.  However, because of the elongated summer, I was able to enjoy, for an extra month, all the work that Mother Nature did on my gardens. 

Back in May I put some two inch plants into the ground and/or pots.  They weighed a few ounces each. 




Park's Seeds

It rained a lot in Pennsylvania and so with very little help from me, they became these:
                                           
                                          My daughter, my model.
                           It rained so often, cushions seldom were put on the chairs. 

                                               There is a bench under there.
                     Night time on the woods edge (with some help from solar lighting)
 
My favorite cactus
 
 
                                                         .
                                A view on my deck. (if there is room, there is a flower)
 
 
 
 
                                Hard to see, but this is inside my Zen Garden at night. 
 
Yes, I overdo, but I have cut back on the amount of annuals that I have planted in the past. These are a few of my garden areas; most of the remaining are full of perennials that bloom for shorter times in the summer and need less care.
 
 
Now, though, is the time to say good-bye to all these lovely flowers that surround me.  I started dismantling the gardens two weeks ago - very slowly.  What were once small and weightless, are now very large with roots that cling to other roots and refuse to let go.  I know how they feel.  I am down to the largest pots and am promising myself that I will not plant this many next year. 
 
 
I think I remember promising myself the same thing last year.  
 
 
I hope you all have a fun Halloween with lots of visits from gremlins begging for candy, unless, of course, you want it all for yourself.